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  • Money in the 2024 Election

In the run-up to November, the Brennan Center is releasing analyses exploring key trends shaping how money flows into our elections and whose voices are heard the loudest.

The 2024 election is set to break spending records, with more money than ever coming from the wealthiest donors. In race after race, the biggest megadonors have already spent tens of millions of dollars through super PACs to boost candidates likely to favor specific ideologies or special interests, dwarfing spending by small donors in those races. Wealthy self-funded candidates are also funneling more and more of their own money into campaigns.

Further, thanks in large part to increased spending by a handful of megadonors, congressional campaigns are becoming more nationalized. Congressional candidates have always raised some money nationally. But the portion coming from donors outside their districts or states has grown significantly, meaning that many elected officials are subject to more and more pressure to cater to a national donor base rather than their constituents.

In addition, “dark money” from undisclosed sources continues to rise and is becoming even harder to track. Many groups spending large amounts to influence elections withhold the identities of their donors and increasingly funnel their spending through other entities to further mask its sources.

A related trend is that campaigns are moving increasingly online, where disclosure rules are especially weak. For the first time, the Brennan Center will be tracking this online spending in partnership with OpenSecrets and the Wesleyan Media Project.